Governor Snyder set aside $1 million in his budget recommendation presentation on 2/5/14 for recycling in Michigan. This will serve as an initiative to learn more about best practices, and expand the program throughout the state in the future. See the details here.

State of Recycling in Michigan

While the State of Michigan does not require reporting of recycling nor comprehensively collect related data, Biocycle Magazine, an industry publication, estimates Michigan’s recycling rate at 14.5%. This recycling rate puts Michigan behind almost all states in the Great Lakes region and is far below the 2007 State Solid Waste Policy’s recycling goal of 50% by 2015. 

The Michigan Recycling Coalition’s 2011 State of Recycling in Michigan: A Way Forward, sought to identify both the economic and environmental benefits of recycling to the state. The report estimates the value of the materials currently disposed in Michigan at approximately $500 million annually. In a November 2012 special message (page 18) to the state legislature, Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder identified recycling as a priority for his administration. The State’s Department of Environmental Quality has been working with stakeholders to explore and identify policy and funding options to support the increased recovery and recycling of products and packaging in Michigan. The Department presented its first proposal for consideration by the Recycling Workgroup on September 10, 2013, Recommended Approach for Comprehensive Recycling in Michigan.

A number of reports contribute to our current understanding of recycling, follow the links below to view them: 

Residential Recycling in Michigan: Communities with more than 10,000 people, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Michigan must recycle more landfill less - Detroit Free Press Opinion: Kerrin O'Brien, Michigan Recycling Coalition Executive Director

Improving Recycling Performance in Michigan: Best Practices, Options and Potential Costs, Public Sector Consultants for the Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers 2013

Expanding Recycling in Michigan: An Update, Public Sector Consultants for the Michigan Recycling Partnership 2009

Expanding Recycling in Michigan, Public Sector Consultants for the Michigan Recycling Partnership 2006

Recommendations for Improving and Expanding Recycling in Michigan, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

The Michigan Beverage and Container Task Force Final Report, Michigan Beverage Container and Recycling Task Force 2003

Michigan Recycling Measurement Project: Collection and Diversion, Michigan Recycling Coalition 2001

Michigan Recycling Measurement ProjectEconomic Impacts, Michigan Recycling Coalition 2001

Michigan Bottle Bill: A Final Report to the Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund, Stutz and Gilbert 2000

Michigan Annual Landfill Reports